Self-Driving vs. Renting Trailers

Self-Driving vs. Renting Trailers
Published on September 8, 2023

When traveling from one state to another, the need for a car is crucial to have the ultimate freedom to roam the city without needing public transportation or a driver. However, the method for delivering a vehicle to the destination varies; some prefer to drive there, while others hire an auto transport company to rent an open or enclosed trailer.

In this article, we’re exploring these three options, when to choose each, and their pros and cons.


Many people prefer to “kill two birds with one stone” by driving themselves, saving the cost of a flight or train ticket while simultaneously delivering their car to the destination. Self-driving could be a reasonable option; however, it’s advisable primarily when the destination is nearby. The longer the trip, the greater the risks a driver may encounter. Those include car overheating, decreased fluid levels, interior wear, and the list continues. 

Self-driving to the destination requires several preparations. One must conduct a thorough mechanical check to ensure the vehicle can undertake a long drive. Thoroughly planning the route is also essential, including identifying all possible stops, fuel stations, and hotels, especially for long journeys. However, numerous risks are associated with this option, both for the car and the driver.

The advantages of this option include flexibility in terms of timing, as car owners don’t have to adhere to a company’s schedule. It can also be cost-effective if the destination is relatively close.

Renting an Open Trailer

Open auto transport is the most common shipping option among car owners, as it’s a safe and affordable method. An open trailer is a truck with a light trailer; however, as the name implies, it’s without a roof.

By choosing an open trailer, a company will transport the car from point A to point B safely and quickly. When choosing this method, the only source of concern is bad weather and road conditions. Because the shipped cars won’t be shielded, road debris, rocks, dust, and dirt will inevitably find their way to the shipped car.

The damage can be limited to a dirty vehicle in most cases; nevertheless, road debris can cause scratches and damage to the car’s body. There are many reasons why this transport method is the most economical; first, an open trailer accommodates more cars than an enclosed one does. In addition, it’s easier to drive and maneuver than the latter, so it doesn’t require as much effort from the trailer driver.

We recommend using an open trailer for short-distance transport and only for ordinary cars. Putting a luxurious or classic car on an open trailer poses a significant risk, as a driver, no matter how seasoned, can’t control the road’s effects on the shipped vehicles.

Renting an Enclosed Trailer

This type of trailer is the ultimate solution for a safe, stress-free car transport process. An enclosed trailer is a truck with a large box comprising four walls and a roof that fully shields the shipped cargo from potential danger.

The shipped car receives the utmost privacy and protection by renting an enclosed trailer. No road debris can reach the shipped car, surrounded by a steel enclosure. Some enclosed trailers are also temperature-controlled, eliminating concerns about adverse weather affecting the shipped car.

Naturally, all these luxurious advantages come at a higher price than an open trailer, but it’s well worth it. The limited number of vehicles the steel box can contain, which typically ranges from 3 to 7 per shipment, contributes to the transport fee.

Furthermore, as a large trailer pulling a heavy load, this trailer consumes a significant amount of fuel, not to mention the challenges of driving such a trailer. All these factors contribute to the cost of renting an enclosed trailer. This type of trailer is recommended for classic, collectible, and luxurious cars. Additionally, it’s advisable for regular cars if the trip is long and hazardous.

Final Judgement

Each option mentioned above is suitable and beneficial in specific cases; therefore, there’s no definitive answer. However, we recommend always erring on the side of caution. While auto transport services may cost a little more than self-driving, they ensure additional safety and eliminate many accident chances that may cost more than the shipping service itself.

Collaborating with a trustworthy auto transport company should be the top priority if one chooses auto transport services over self-driving. It should be a long-established company with a team of professional drivers. A valid license and a USDOT number are also crucial to confirm that the company complies with United States rules and regulations.

The Bottom Line

After getting to know the three available car transport options, one will know exactly the suitable transport method for their and their car’s case. The key to any success, however, is thorough planning; if it’s self-driving, one must know the route clearly and get their vehicle ready for the trip. If it’s an auto transport, finding the right auto transport company is the best planning for a safe auto transport process.

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